Sermon on the Mount
In verses thirty one through forty eight we can readily see how Christ peels away the onion that was the Old Covenant in showing how His coming and His teaching will reveal the New. Oh, to be a fly on the wall to watch that onion being peeled and the reactions of those gathered on the Mount. What they were hearing for the first time was something that was unheard of. While they may have thought the Old was tough, the New could be considered tough love, yet so full of God's Love that it would draw more to hear this Son of a carpenter who was stirring up the land with His teachings and aggravating the heck out of the Scribes and Pharisees. Their corrupt hold on the people was slipping and not only did Christ know that, but they did as well, making them all the more angry and out for revenge, doing exactly what Jesus warned against in His sermon on the Mount.
I complete my treatise on the Fifth Chapter of the Gospel of Saint Matthew today as we concentrate on verses 31 through 48 to see how our Lord was slowly but surely replacing the Old Covenant by establishing the New.
31 It hath also been said: Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a bill of divorce.
Divorce Permitted To Avoid Greater Evil: The Newly Married Must Not Go To War: Of Men-Stealers, Of Leprosy, Of Pledges, Of Laborer's Hire, Of Justice, And Of Charity To The Poor.
1 If a man take a wife, and have her, and she find not favour in his eyes for some uncleanness: he shall write a bill of divorce, and shall give it in her hand, and send her out of his house. And when she is departed, and marrieth another husband, And he also hateth her, and hath given her a bill of divorce, and hath sent her out of his house or is dead: The former husband cannot take her again to wife: because she is defiled, and is become abominable before the Lord: lest thou cause thy land to sin, which the Lord thy God shall give thee to possess.
When a man hath lately taken a wife, he shall not go out to war, neither shall any public business be enjoined him, but he shall be free at home without fault, that for one year he may rejoice with his wife. Thou shalt not take the nether, nor the upper millstone to pledge: for he hath pledged his life to thee. If any man be found soliciting his brother of the children of Israel, and selling him shall take a price, he shall be put to death, and thou shalt take away the evil from the midst of thee. Observe diligently that thou incur not the stroke of the leprosy, but thou shalt do whatsoever the priests of the Levitical race shall teach thee, according to what I have commanded them, and fulfil thou it carefully.
Remember what the Lord your God did to Mary, in the way when you came out of Egypt. When thou shalt demand of thy neighbor any thing that he oweth thee, thou shalt not go into his house to take away a pledge : But thou shalt stand without, and he shall bring out to thee what he hath. But if he be poor, the pledge shall not lodge with thee that night, But thou shalt restore it to him presently before the going down of the sun: that he may sleep in his own raiment and bless thee, and thou mayst have justice before the Lord thy God. Thou shalt not refuse the hire of the needy, and the poor, whether he be thy brother, or a stranger, that dwelleth with thee in the land, and is within thy gates: But thou shalt pay him the price of his labour the same day, before the going down of the sun, because he is poor, and with it maintaineth his life: lest he cry against thee to the Lord, and it be reputed to thee for a sin. The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, nor the children for the fathers, but every one shall die for his own sin. Thou shalt not pervert the judgment of the stranger, nor of the fatherless, neither shalt thou take away the widow's raiment for a pledge.
Remember that thou wast a slave in Egypt, and the Lord thy God delivered thee from thence. Therefore I command thee to do this thing. When thou hast reaped the corn in thy field, and hast forgot and left a sheaf, thou shalt not return to take it away: but thou shalt suffer the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow to take it away: that the Lord thy God may bless thee in all the works of thy hands. If thou have gathered the fruit of thy olive-trees, thou shalt not return to gather whatsoever remaineth on the trees: but shalt leave it for the stranger, for the fatherless, and for the widow. If thou make the vintage of thy vineyard, thou shalt not gather the clusters that remain, but they shall be for the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow. Remember that thou also wast a bondman in Egypt, and therefore I command thee to do this thing. (Deuteronomy 24)
32 But I say to you: that whosoever shall put away his wife, excepting the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is put away, committeth adultery.
Ver. 32.Excepting the cause of fornication. A divorce or separation as to bed and board, may be permitted for some weighty causes in Christian marriages; but even then, he that marrieth her that is dismissed, commits adultery. As to this, there is no exception. The bond of marriage is perpetual; and what God hath joined, no power on earth can separate. See again Matthew xix. 9. (Witham) --- The knot of marriage is so sacred a tie, that the separation of the parties cannot loosen it, it being not lawful for either of the parties to marry again upon a divorce. (St. Augustine, de bon. conjug. chap. vii.) (Bristow)
And He saith to them: Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her. (Mark 10: 11)
18 Every one that putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery: and he that marrieth her that is put away from her husband, commmitteth adultery. (Luke 16: 18)
10 But to them that are married, not I but the Lord commandeth, that the wife depart not from her husband: (1 Corinthians 7: 10)
33 Again you have heard that it was said to them of old: Thou shalt not forswear thyself: but thou shalt perform thy oaths to the Lord.
Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain: for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that shall take the name of the Lord his God in vain. (Exodus 20: 7)
Divers Ordinances, Partly Moral, Partly Ceremonial Or Judicial
The Lord spoke to Moses, saying: Speak to all the congregation of the children of Israel, and thou shalt say to them: Be ye holy, because I, the Lord your God, am holy. Let every one fear his father and his mother. Keep my sabbaths. I am the Lord your God. Turn ye not to idols, nor make to yourselves molten gods. I am the Lord your God. If ye offer in sacrifice a peace-offering to the Lord, that he may be favorable, You shall eat it on the same day it was offered, and the next day: and whatsoever shall be left until the third day, you shall burn with fire. If after two days any man eat thereof, he shall be profane and guilty of impiety: And shall bear his iniquity, because he hath defiled the holy thing of the Lord, and that soul shall perish from among his people. When thou reapest the corn of thy land, thou shalt not cut down all that is on the face of the earth to the very ground: nor shalt thou gather the ears that remain. Neither shalt thou gather the bunches and grapes that fall down in thy vineyard, but shalt leave them to the poor and the strangers to take. I am the Lord your God. You shall not steal. You shall not lie, neither shall any man deceive his neighbor.
12 Thou shalt not swear falsely by my name, nor profane the name of thy God. I am the Lord. Thou shalt not calumniate thy neighbor, nor oppress him by violence. The wages of him that hath been hired by thee, shall not abide with thee until the morning. Thou shalt not speak evil of the deaf, nor put a stumbling-block before the blind: but thou shalt fear the Lord thy God, because I am the Lord. Thou shalt not do that which is unjust, nor judge unjustly. Respect not the person of the poor, nor honor the countenance of the mighty. But judge thy neighbour according to justice. Thou shalt not be a detractor nor a whisperer among the people. Thou shalt not stand against the blood of thy neighbour. I am the Lord. Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thy heart, but reprove him openly, lest thou incur sin through him. Seek not revenge, nor be mindful of the injury of thy citizens. Thou shalt love thy friend as thyself. I am the Lord. Keep ye My laws.
Thou shalt not make thy cattle to gender with beasts of any other kind. Thou shalt not sow thy field with different seeds. Thou shalt not wear a garment that is woven of two sorts. If a man carnally lie with a woman that is a bond-servant and marriageable, and yet not redeemed with a price, nor made free: they both shall be scourged, and they shall not be put to death, because she was not a free woman. And for his trespass he shall offer a ram to the Lord, at the door of the tabernacle of the testimony: And the priest shall pray for him, and for his sin, before the Lord, and he shall have mercy on him, and the sin shall be forgiven. When you shall be come into the land, and shall have planted in it fruit-trees, you shall take away the first-fruits of them: the fruit that comes forth shall be unclean to you, neither shall you eat of them. But in the fourth year, all their fruit shall be sanctified, to the praise of the Lord. And in the fifth year you shall eat the fruits thereof, gathering the increase thereof. I am the Lord your God. You shall not eat with blood. You shall not divine nor observe dreams. Nor shall you cut your hair round-wise: nor shave your beard. You shall not make any cuttings in your flesh, for the dead, neither shall you make in yourselves any figures or marks: I am the Lord. Make not thy daughter a common strumpet, lest the land be defiled, and filled with wickedness.
Keep ye my sabbaths, and reverence My sanctuary. I am the Lord. Go not aside after wizards, neither ask any thing of soothsayers, to be defiled by them: I am the Lord your God. Rise up before the hoary head ("white head" having white hair, elderly - JG), and honour the person of the aged man: and fear the Lord thy God. I am the Lord. If a stranger dwell in your land, and abide among you, do not upbraid him : But let him be among you as one of the same country: and you shall love him as yourselves: for you were strangers in the land of Egypt. I am the Lord your God. Do not any unjust thing in judgment, in rule, in weight, or in measure. Let the balance be just and the weights equal, the bushel just, and the sextary equal. I am the Lord your God, that brought you out of the land of Egypt. Keep all my precepts, and all my judgments, and do them. I am the Lord. (Leviticus 19)
The Ten Commandments Are Repeated And Explained
And Moses called all Israel, and said to them: Hear, O Israel, the ceremonies and judgments, which I speak in your ears this day: learn them, and fulfil them in work. The Lord our God made a covenant with us in Horeb. He made not the covenant with our fathers, but with us, who are now present and living. He spoke to us face to face in the mount out of the midst of fire. I was the mediator, and stood between the Lord and you at that time, to shew you His words; for you feared the fire, and went not up into the mountain, and He said: I am the Lord thy God, Who brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage Thou shalt not have strange gods in my sight. Thou shalt not make to thyself a graven thing, nor the likeness of any things that are in Heaven above, or that are in the earth beneath, or that abide in the waters under the earth. Thou shalt not adore them, and thou shalt not serve them. For I am the Lord thy God, a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon their children unto the third and fourth generation to them that hate Me, And shewing mercy unto many thousands to them that love me, and keep My commandments.
11 Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain: for he shall not be unpunished that taketh his name upon a vain thing. Observe the day of the sabbath, to sanctify it, as the Lord thy God hath commanded thee. Six days shalt thou labor, and shalt do all thy works. The seventh is the day of the sabbath, that is, the rest of the Lord thy God. Thou shalt not do any work therein, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, nor thy man-servant, nor thy maid-servant, nor thy ox, nor thy ass, nor any of thy beasts, nor the stranger that is within thy gates: that thy man-servant and thy maid-servant may rest even as thyself. Remember that thou also didst serve in Egypt, and the Lord thy God brought thee out from thence with a strong hand, and a stretched out arm. Therefore hath he commanded thee that thou shouldst observe the sabbath-day.
Honor thy father and mother, as the Lord thy God hath commanded thee, that thou mayst live a long time, and it may be well with thee in the land, which the Lord thy God will give thee. Thou shalt not kill. Neither shalt thou commit adultery. And thou shalt not steal. Neither shalt thou bear false witness against thy neighbor. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife: nor his house, nor his field, nor his man-servant, nor his maid-servant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is his.
These words the Lord spoke to all the multitude of you in the mountain, out of the midst of the fire and the cloud, and the darkness, with a loud voice, adding nothing more: and He wrote them in two tables of stone, which He delivered unto me. But you, after you heard the voice out of the midst of the darkness, and saw the mountain burn, came to me, all the princes of the tribes and the elders, and you said: Behold the Lord our God hath shewn us His majesty and His greatness; we have heard His voice out of the midst of the fire, and have proved this day, that God speaking with man, man hath lived. Why shall we die therefore, and why shall this exceeding great fire consume us? For if we hear the voice of the Lord our God any more, we shall die. What is all flesh, that it should hear the voice of the living God, Who speaketh out of the midst of the fire, as we have heard, and be able to live. Approach thou rather: and hear all things that the Lord our God shall say to thee, and Thou shalt speak to us, and we will hear and will do them.
And when the Lord had heard this, He said to me: I have heard the voice of the words of this people, which they spoke to thee: they have spoken all things well. Who shall give them to have such a mind, to fear Me, and to keep all My commandments at all times, that it may be well with them and with their children for ever? Go and say to them: Return into your tents. But stand thou here with Me, and I will speak to thee all My commandments, and ceremonies and judgments: which thou shalt teach them, that they may do them in the land which I will give them for a possession. Keep, therefore, and do the things which the Lord God hath commanded you: you shall not go aside neither to the right hand nor to the left: But you shall walk in the way that the Lord your God hath commanded, that you may live, and it may be well with you, and your days may be long in the land of your possession. (Deuteronomy 5)
But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by Heaven, nor by the earth, nor by any other oath. But let your speech be; yea, yea: no, no; that you fall not under judgment. (James 5: 12)
34 But I say to you, not to swear at all, neither by Heaven, for it is the throne of God:
Ver. 34. Swear not at all. We must not imagine that here are forbidden all oaths, where there is a just and necessary cause of calling God to witness. An oath on such an occasion is an act of justice and religion. Here are forbidden unnecessary oaths in common discourse, by which the sacred name of God, which never ought to be pronounced without reverence and respect, is so frequently and scandalously profaned. (Witham) --- 'Tis not forbidden to swear in truth, justice and judgment; to the honor of God, or our own or neighbors' just defense; but only to swear rashly, or profanely, in common discourse, and without necessity. (Challoner)
35 Nor by the earth, for it is his footstool: nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great king:
Ver. 35. The Anabaptists and other sectarists, following the letter, and not the spirit of the Scripture, and walking in the footsteps of their predecessors, the Waldenses, and the Pelagians, will allow of no oath to be lawful, not even before a judge. (Bristow)
36 Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black.
37 But let your speech be yea, yea: no, no: and that which is over and above these, is of evil.
But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, nor by the earth, nor by any other oath. But let your speech be; yea, yea: no, no; that you fall not under judgment. (James 5: 12)
38 You have heard that it hath been said: An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.
Ver. 38. Hence your doctors have concluded that revenge, equal to the injury, was permitted.
Laws Relating To Justice
These are the judgments which thou shalt set before them. If thou buy a Hebrew servant, six years shall he serve thee: in the seventh he shall go out free for nothing. With what raiment he came in, with the like let him go out: if having a wife, his wife also shall go out with him. But if his master gave him a wife, and she hath borne sons and daughters; the woman and her children shall be her master's: but he himself shall go out with his raiment. And if the servant shall say: I love my master and my wife and children, I will not go out free: His master shall bring him to the gods, (Ver. 6. To the gods: Elohim. That is, to the judges, or magistrates, authorized by God. (Challoner) --- In a matter of such consequence, great deliberation was requisite.),and he shall be set to the door and the posts, and he shall bore his ear through with an awl: and he shall be his servant for ever. If any man sell his daughter to be a servant, she shall not go out as bond-women are wont to go out. If she displease the eyes of her master to whom she was delivered, he shall let her go: but he shall have no power to sell her to a foreign nation, if he despise her. But if he have betrothed her to his son, he shall deal with her after the manner of daughters. And if he take another wife for him, he shall provide her a marriage, and raiment, neither shall he refuse the price of her chastity. If he do not these three things, she shall go out free without money. He that striketh a man with a will to kill him, shall be put to death. But he that did not lie in wait for him, but God delivered him into his hands: I will appoint thee a place to which he must flee.
If a man kill his neighbor on set purpose, and by lying in wait for him: thou shalt take him away from my altar that he may die. He that striketh his father or mother, shall be put to death. He that shall steal a man, and sell him, being convicted of guilt, shall be put to death. He that curseth his father or mother, shall die the death. If men quarrel, and the one strike his neighbor with a stone, or with his fist, and he die not, but keepeth his bed: If he rise again and walk abroad upon his staff, he that struck him shall be quit, yet so that he make restitution for his work, and for his expenses upon the physicians. He that striketh his bond-man or bond-woman, with a rod, and they die under his hands, shall be guilty of the crime. But if the party remain alive a day or two, he shall not be subject to the punishment, because it is his money. If men quarrel, and one strike a woman with child, and she miscarry indeed, but live herself: he shall be answerable for so much damage as the woman's husband shall require, and as arbiters shall award.
Ver. 22. But live herself. So Josephus also reads, Antiquities iv. 8. But Philo and the Septuagint have, "of a child unformed;" and ver. 23, "But if the child be formed, (exeikonismenon, animated and organized) he shall give soul for soul;" as if all were referred to the child, which the Vulgate explains of the mother. To destroy the life of either was punished with death. "She who first taught the art of expelling the tender fœtus, deserved to perish by her own malice." (Ovid) (Calmet) --- The precise time when the soul begins to animate the body is so very uncertain, that, after conception, the person who should cause a miscarriage wilfully, would expose himself to incur the guilt of murder.
(We notice that the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception was declared (1854) and is celebrated nine months (December 8th) to the day before we celebrate the birth (September 8th) of the Blessed Virgin Mary. This feast day was celebrated on that date long before the Dogma was declared, which already implied that the infusion of the soul takes place at the moment of conception, otherwise her soul could not be considered immaculate at the moment of her conception. The human person is a body/soul composite; if the soul be lacking you have no person. There was a debate for a time, on whether our Lady was conceived without sin, much the same as there was a debate as to whether the soul is infused into the body at the moment of conception. The debate on the Immaculate Conception, and on when the soul enters the body, as will be shown, was ended when it became a Dogma, proving that the same was a part of the deposit of faith (revealed by God before the death of the last Apostle) that had yet to be definitively realized (manifest) until the cause was ended, once and for all, in 1854. Thus, it becomes clear why abortion is never allowed from the moment of conception, as such forces the soul to enter into eternal life with the stain of Original Sin, unless the baby was killed for fear that it might be our Lord as happened with the Holy Innocents, which would be very unlikely since abortions are done for convenience and not because they believe it could be Christ, or the unborn child willingly gave up its life for Christ, which is impossible, or because the unborn child willed to become Catholic, which cannot be held because an unborn child cannot be at the age of reason. – JG) See Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus - Baptism of Blood/Baptism of Desire Explained and Case against the Feeneyites
(We declare, pronounce and define that the doctrine which holds that the Blessed Virgin Mary, at the first instant of her conception, by a singular privilege and grace of the Omnipotent God, in virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Saviour of mankind, was preserved immaculate from all stain of original sin, has been revealed by God, and therefore should firmly and constantly be believed by all the faithful. (Emphasize mine – JG) — Pope Pius IX, Ineffabilis Deus)
Josephus, contra Apion ii., shews how the Jews abhorred such wickedness. The Romans punished it with death. (Haydock) --- Homicidii festinatio est prohibere nasci. (Tertullian, apol.) Onkelos says, that "if the mother should not die of the stroke, the offender was to satisfy the husband by paying a fine, to be awarded by the husband, or by the judges: but in case the mother died, he should render life for life:" (Calmet) in which decision he agrees with the Vulgate. (Haydock) --- The Hebrew is ambiguous, "If death ensue not." (Calmet) But if her death ensue thereupon, he shall render life for life.
24 Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, Burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe. If any man strike the eye of his man-servant or maid-servant, and leave them but one eye, he shall let them go free for the eye which he put out. Also if he strike out a tooth of his man-servant or maid-servant, he shall in like manner make them free. If an ox gore a man or a woman, and they die, he shall be stoned: and his flesh shall not be eaten, but the owner of the ox shall be quit (acquitted, free from punishment - JG). But if the ox was wont to push with his horn yesterday, and the day before, and they warned his master, and he did not shut him up, and he shall kill a man or a woman: then the ox shall be stoned, an his owner also shall be put to death. And if they set a price upon him, he shall give for his life whatsoever is laid upon him. If he have gored a son, or a daughter, he shall fall under the like sentence. If he assault a bond-man or a bond-woman, he shall give thirty sicles of silver to their master, and the ox shall be stoned. If a man open a pit, and dig one, and cover it not, and an ox or an ass fall into it, The owner of the pit shall pay the price of the beasts: and that which is dead shall be his own. If one man's ox gore another man's ox, and he die: they shall sell the live ox, and shall divide the price, and the carcass of that which died they shall part between them: But if he knew that his ox was wont to push yesterday, and the day before, and his master did not keep him in; he shall pay ox for ox, and shall take the whole carcass. (Exodus 21)
The Oil For The Lamps. The Loaves Of Proposition. The Punishment Of Blasphemy.
And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: Command the children of Israel, that they bring unto thee the finest and clearest oil of olives, to furnish the lamps continually, Without the veil of the testimony in the tabernacle of the covenant. And Aaron shall set them from evening until morning before the Lord, by a perpetual service, and rite in your generations. They shall be set upon the most pure candlestick before the Lord continually. Thou shalt take also fine flour, and shalt bake twelve loaves thereof, two tenths shall be in every loaf : And thou shalt set them six and six, one against another, upon the most clean table before the Lord: And thou shalt put upon them the clearest frankincense, that the bread may be for a memorial of the oblation of the Lord. Every sabbath they shall be changed before the Lord, being received of the children of Israel by an everlasting covenant: And they shall be Aaron's and his sons', that they may eat them in the holy place: because it is most holy of the sacrifices of the Lord, by a perpetual rite. (A clearer precursor to the Mass would be difficult to imagine - JG)
And behold there went out the son of a woman of Israel, whom she had of an Egyptian, among the children of Israel, and fell at words in the camp with a man of Israel. And when he had blasphemed the Name, and had cursed it, he was brought to Moses: (now his mother was called Salumith, the daughter of Dabri, of the tribe of Dan:) And they put him into prison, till they might know what the Lord would command. And the Lord spoke to Moses, Saying: Bring forth the blasphemer without the camp, and let them that heard him, put their hands upon his head, and let all the people stone him. And thou shalt speak to the children of Israel: The man that curseth his God, shall bear his sin: And he that blasphemeth the name of the Lord, dying let him die: all the multitude shall stone him, whether he be a native or a stranger. He that blasphemeth the name of the Lord, dying let him die. He that striketh and killeth a man, dying let him die. He that killeth a beast, shall make it good, that is to say, shall give beast for beast. He that giveth a blemish to any of his neighbours: as he hath done, so shall it be done to him:
20 Breach for breach, eye for eye, tooth for tooth shall he restore. What blemish he gave, the like shall he be compelled to suffer. He that striketh a beast, shall render another. He that striketh a man shall be punished. Let there be equal judgment among you, whether he be a stranger, or a native that offends: because I am the Lord your God. And Moses spoke to the children of Israel: and they brought forth him that had blasphemed, without the camp, and they stoned him. And the children of Israel did as the Lord had commanded Moses. (Leviticus 24)
The Cities Of Refuge. Wilful Murder, And False Witnesses Must Be Punished.
When the Lord thy God hath destroyed the nations, whose land he will deliver to thee, and thou shalt possess it, and shalt dwell in the cities and houses thereof : Thou shalt separate to thee three cities in the midst of the land, which the Lord will give thee in possession, Paving diligently the way: and thou shalt divide the whole province of thy land equally into three parts: that he who is forced to flee for manslaughter, may have near at hand whither to escape. This shall be the law of the slayer that fleeth, whose life is to be saved: He that killeth his neighbour ignorantly, and who is proved to have had no hatred against him yesterday and the day before: But to have gone with him to the wood to hew wood, and in cutting down the tree the axe slipped out of his hand, and the iron slipping from the handle, struck his friend and killed him: he shall flee to one of the cities aforesaid, and live: Lest perhaps the next kinsman of him whose blood was shed, pushed on by his grief, should pursue and apprehend him, if the way be too long, and take away the life of him who is not guilty of death, because he is proved to have had no hatred before against him that was slain. Therefore I command thee, that thou separate three cities at equal distance one from another. And when the Lord thy God shall have enlarged thy borders, as he swore to thy fathers, and shall give thee all the land that he promised them, (Yet so, if thou keep his commandments, and do the things which I command thee this day, that thou love the Lord thy God, and walk in his ways at all times) thou shalt add to the other three cities, and shalt double the number of the three cities aforesaid: That innocent blood may not be shed in the midst of the land which the Lord thy God will give thee to possess, lest thou be guilty of blood. But if any man hating his neighbor, lie in wait for his life, and rise and strike him, and he die, and he flee to one of the cities aforesaid, The ancients of his city shall send, and take him out of the place of refuge, and shall deliver him into the hand of the kinsman of him, whose blood was shed, and he shall die. Thou shalt not pity him, and thou shalt take away the guilt of innocent blood out of Israel, that it may be well with thee. Thou shalt not take, nor remove thy neighbour's landmarks, which thy predecessors have set in thy possession, which the Lord thy God will give thee in the land that thou shalt receive to possess. One witness shall not rise up against any man, whatsoever the sin, or wickedness be: but in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word shall stand. If a lying witness stand against a man, accusing him of transgression, Both of them, between whom the controversy is, shall stand before the Lord in the sight of the priests and the judges that shall be in those days. And when, after most diligent inquisition, they shall find that the false witness hath told a lie against his brother: They shall render to him as he meant to do to his brother, and thou shalt take away the evil out of the midst of thee: That others hearing may fear, and may not dare to do such things.
21 Thou shalt not pity him, but shalt require life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot. (Deuteronomy 19)
39 But I say to you, not to resist evil: but if any one strike thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.
Ver. 39. Not to resist evil;[Non resistere malo, to ponero, as before, a malo est, ek tou ponerou estin. In both places o poneros, seems to signify an evil spirit, or an evil man.] i.e. not to resist or revenge thyself of him that hath done evil to thee. --- Turn him the other cheek. Let him have also thy cloak. These are to be understood as admonitions to Christians, to forgive every one, and to bear patiently all manner of private injuries. But we must not from hence conclude it unlawful for any one to have recourse to the laws, when a man is injured, and cannot have justice by any other means. (Witham) --- What is here commanded, is a Christian patience under injuries and affronts, and to be willing even to suffer still more, rather than to indulge the desire of revenge; but what is further added does not strictly oblige according to the letter, for neither did Christ, nor St. Paul, turn the other cheek. (St. John xviii. and Acts xxiii.) (Challoner) --- Hence also the Anabaptists infer, that it is not lawful to go to law even for our just rights; and Luther, that Christians ought not to resist the Turks. (Bristow)
And to him that striketh thee on the one cheek, offer also the other. And him that taketh away from thee thy cloak, hinder not to take thy coat also. (Luke 6: 29)
40 And if any man will go to law with thee, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also.
Already indeed there is plainly a fault among you, that you have law-suits one with another. Why do you not rather take the injury? why do you not rather suffer fraud? (1 Corinthians 6: 7)
41 And whosoever shall force thee to go one mile, go with him other two.
Ver. 41. Go with him other two. I know many interpreters would have it to signify no more than two in all. But the literal sense of the Latin, and also of the best Greek manuscripts. (as Dr. Wells takes notice in his amendments to the Prot. translation) express two more, i.e. not only as far again, but twice as far. And thus it is expounded by St. Augustine, Serm. Domini in monte. t. iii. p. 193. Ed Ben. (Witham) --- Continue to be his guide sooner than lose patience, or be wanting in charity. (Haydock)
42 Give to him that asketh of thee, and from him that would borrow of thee, turn not away.
The Law Of The Seventh Year Of Remission. The Firstlings Of Cattle Are To Be Sanctified To The Lord.
In the seventh year thou shalt make a remission, Which shall be celebrated in this order. He to whom any thing is owing from his friend, or neighbour, or brother, cannot demand it again, because it is the year of remission of the Lord. Of the foreigner or stranger thou mayst exact it: of thy countryman and neighbor thou shalt not have power to demand it again. And there shall be no poor nor beggar among you: that the Lord thy God may bless thee in the land which he will give thee in possession. Yet so if thou hear the voice of the Lord thy God, and keep all things that he hath ordained, and which I command thee this day, he will bless thee, as he hath promised. Thou shalt lend to many nations, and thou shalt borrow of no man. Thou shalt have dominion over very many nations, and no one shall have dominion over thee. If one of thy brethren, that dwelleth within the gates of thy city, in the land which the Lord thy God will give thee, come to poverty: thou shalt not harden thy heart, nor close thy hand,
8 But shalt open it to the poor man; thou shalt lend him, that which thou perceivest he hath need of. Beware lest perhaps a wicked thought steal in upon thee, and thou say in thy heart: The seventh year of remission draweth nigh; and thou turn away thy eyes from thy poor brother, denying to lend him that which he asketh: lest he cry against thee to the Lord, and it become a sin unto thee. But thou shalt give to him: neither shalt thou do any thing craftily in relieving his necessities: that the Lord thy God may bless thee at all times, and in all things to which thou shalt put thy hand. There will not be wanting poor in the land of thy habitation: therefore I command thee to open thy hand to thy needy and poor brother, that liveth in the land. When thy brother, a Hebrew man, or Hebrew woman, is sold to thee, and hath served thee six years, in the seventh year, thou shalt let him go free: And when thou sendest him out free, thou shalt not let him go away empty: But shalt give him for his way out of thy flocks, and out of thy barn-floor, and thy wine-press, wherewith the Lord thy God shall bless thee. Remember that thou also wast a bond-servant in the land of Egypt, and the Lord thy God made thee free, and therefore I now command thee this. But if he say: I will not depart: because he loveth thee, and thy house, and findeth that he is well with thee: Thou shalt take an awl, and bore through his ear in the door of thy house, and he shall serve thee for ever: thou shalt do in like manner to thy woman-servant also. Turn not away thy eyes from them, when thou makest them free: because he hath served thee six years according to the wages of a hireling: that the Lord thy God may bless thee in all the works that thou dost. Of the firstlings, that come of thy herds, and thy sheep, thou shalt sanctify to the Lord thy God whatsoever is of the male sex. Thou shalt not work with the firstling of a bullock, and thou shalt not shear the firstlings of thy sheep. In the sight of the Lord thy God shalt thou eat them every year, in the place that the Lord shall choose, thou and thy house. But if it have a blemish, or be lame, or blind, or in any part disfigured or feeble, it shall not be sacrificed to the Lord thy God. But thou shalt eat it within the gates of thy city: the clean and the unclean shall eat them alike as the roe, and as the hart. Only thou shalt take heed not to eat their blood, but pour it out on the earth as water. (Deuteronomy 15)
43 You have heard that it hath been said: Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thy enemy.
Ver. 43.And hate thy enemy. The words of the law (Leviticus xix. 18.) are only these: thou shalt love thy friend as thyself; but by a false gloss (interpretation - JG) and inference (conclusion - JG), these words, and hate thy enemy, were added by the Jewish doctors. (Witham)
Divers Ordinances, Partly Moral, Partly Ceremonial Or Judicial
The Lord spoke to Moses, saying: Speak to all the congregation of the children of Israel, and thou shalt say to them: Be ye holy, because I, the Lord your God, am holy. Let every one fear his father and his mother. Keep My sabbaths. I am the Lord your God. Turn ye not to idols, nor make to yourselves molten gods. I am the Lord your God. If ye offer in sacrifice a peace-offering to the Lord, that He may be favorable, You shall eat it on the same day it was offered, and the next day: and whatsoever shall be left until the third day, you shall burn with fire. If after two days any man eat thereof, he shall be profane and guilty of impiety: And shall bear his iniquity, because he hath defiled the holy thing of the Lord, and that soul shall perish from among his people. When thou reapest the corn of thy land, thou shalt not cut down all that is on the face of the earth to the very ground: nor shalt thou gather the ears that remain. Neither shalt thou gather the bunches and grapes that fall down in thy vineyard, but shalt leave them to the poor and the strangers to take. I am the Lord your God. You shall not steal. You shall not lie, neither shall any man deceive his neighbor. Thou shalt not swear falsely by My name, nor profane the name of thy God. I am the Lord. Thou shalt not calumniate thy neighbor, nor oppress him by violence. The wages of him that hath been hired by thee, shall not abide with thee until the morning. Thou shalt not speak evil of the deaf, nor put a stumbling-block before the blind: but thou shalt fear the Lord thy God, because I am the Lord. Thou shalt not do that which is unjust, nor judge unjustly. Respect not the person of the poor, nor honor the countenance of the mighty. But judge thy neighbor according to justice. Thou shalt not be a detractor nor a whisperer among the people. Thou shalt not stand against the blood of thy neighbor. I am the Lord. Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thy heart, but reprove him openly, lest thou incur sin through him.
18 Seek not revenge, nor be mindful of the injury of thy citizens. Thou shalt love thy friend as thyself. I am the Lord. Keep ye My laws. Thou shalt not make thy cattle to gender with beasts of any other kind. Thou shalt not sow thy field with different seeds. Thou shalt not wear a garment that is woven of two sorts. If a man carnally lie with a woman that is a bond-servant and marriageable, and yet not redeemed with a price, nor made free: they both shall be scourged, and they shall not be put to death, because she was not a free woman. And for his trespass he shall offer a ram to the Lord, at the door of the tabernacle of the testimony: And the priest shall pray for him, and for his sin, before the Lord, and he shall have mercy on him, and the sin shall be forgiven. When you shall be come into the land, and shall have planted in it fruit-trees, you shall take away the first-fruits of them: the fruit that comes forth shall be unclean to you, neither shall you eat of them. But in the fourth year, all their fruit shall be sanctified, to the praise of the Lord. And in the fifth year you shall eat the fruits thereof, gathering the increase thereof. I am the Lord your God. You shall not eat with blood. You shall not divine nor observe dreams. Nor shall you cut your hair round-wise: nor shave your beard. You shall not make any cuttings in your flesh, for the dead, neither shall you make in yourselves any figures or marks: I am the Lord. Make not thy daughter a common strumpet, lest the land be defiled, and filled with wickedness. Keep ye my sabbaths, and reverence my sanctuary. I am the Lord. Go not aside after wizards, neither ask any thing of soothsayers, to be defiled by them: I am the Lord your God. Rise up before the hoary (white - JG) head, and honor the person of the aged man: and fear the Lord thy God. I am the Lord. If a stranger dwell in your land, and abide among you, do not upbraid him : But let him be among you as one of the same country: and you shall love him as yourselves: for you were strangers in the land of Egypt. I am the Lord your God. Do not any unjust thing in judgment, in rule, in weight, or in measure. Let the balance be just and the weights equal, the bushel just, and the sextary equal. I am the Lord your God, that brought you out of the land of Egypt. Keep all my precepts, and all my judgments, and do them. I am the Lord. (Leviticus 19)
44 But I say to you: Love your enemies: do good to them that hate you: and pray for them that persecute and calumniate you,
Ver. 44. I come to establish the purity of the law, which they have corrupted. (Haydock)
But I say to you that hear: Love your enemies, do good to them that hate you. (St. Luke 6: 27)
But if thy enemy be hungry, give him to eat: if he thirst, give him to drink: for, doing this, thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. (Romans 12: 20)
And Jesus said: Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do. But dividing his garments, they cast lots. (Luke 23: 34)
And falling on his knees, he cried out with a loud voice, saying; Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep in the Lord. And Saul was consenting to his death. (Acts 7: 59)
45 That you may be the children of your Father, who is in Heaven: who maketh his sun to rise upon the good and bad, and raineth upon the just and the unjust.
46 For if you love those that love you, what reward shall you have? do not even the publicans the same?
Ver. 46. The publicans. These were the gatherers of the public taxes: a set of men, odious and infamous among the Jews, for their extortions and injustice. (Challoner)
47 And if you salute your brethren only, what do you more? do not also the heathens the same?
48 Be you therefore perfect, as also your heavenly Father is perfect.
Ver. 48. Jesus Christ here sums up His instructions by ordering us to be perfect as our heavenly Father is perfect; i.e. to imitate, as far as our exertions, assisted by divine grace, can reach, the divine perfection. (Witham) --- See here the great superiority of the new over the old law. But let no one hence take occasion to despise the old. Let him examine attentively, says St. Chrysostom, the different periods of time, and the persons to whom it was given; and he will admire the wisdom of the divine Legislator, and clearly perceive that it is one and the same Lord, and that each law was to the great advantage of mankind, and wisely adapted to the times of their promulgation. For, if among the first principles of rectitude, these sublime and eminent truths had been found, perhaps neither these, nor the less perfect rules of morality would have been observed; whereas, by disposing of both in their proper time, the divine wisdom has employed both for the correction of the world. (Hom. xviii.) Seeing then that we are thus blessed as to be called, and to be the children of so excellent a Father, we should endeavour, like Him, to excel in goodness, meekness, and charity; but above all in humility, which will secure to us the merit of good works, through the infinite merits of our divine Redeemer, Master, and model, Christ Jesus the Lord. (Haydock)
If we wish to be perfect, we need to put down the mud and stones we would like to sling at those Christ died to save, and use our hands to embrace the cross God has given us, and the Rosary our Lady has given us.
What I have shared during this five-part series on the fifth chapter of Saint Matthew is insight and information. The following link shows something far more important – how to apply this information in your spiritual life so as to better obtain your final end – The Beatific Vision: Prelude to Eternal Life